I’d read about One Big Game in EDGE this month, and it was a great idea - kind of a developer-led version of Child’s Play with a more significant UK presence, and where funds are donated from game sales themselves rather than only from related activities. So, I was keen to see what their first game Chime was like, produced by Brighton-based Zoë Mode. At first glance it appears to be a hybrid of Tetris and Lumines, and undoubtedly shares a lot of visual and gameplay styles from those games, but actually it brings plenty to the table on its own too.

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Well, you’ve got to accept that Pope Benedict XVI isn’t afraid to tell people what he thinks. The recent furore about his comments that the church should be exempt from UK equality laws, because it would “impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs” is pretty chilling. Cue a shot of loads of people on the street with banners saying that Catholics should have the ‘freedom’ to discriminate against gay and transgender individuals because of their beliefs.

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I’ve established a tradition on this blog of reviewing games that came out several months ago, thus cementing the absolute irrelevance of my commentary to the majority of the intertubes for whom content goes out of date in about a day. It’s kind of the opposite of a magazine that’s delivered by ninjas every 3 hours to ensure cutting-edge coverage. Thing is, unless a game is truly awful I like to try to finish it (or at least finish with it, which is not always the same thing) before deciding my opinion of it, and these things take time.

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I love it when shots from Ogre just show up in funny places. This time, it’s from a comic strip called Stolen Pixels on the Escapist, where Ogre-powered games Torchlight and Zombie Driver have been used for comedic purposes: Thanks to BuschnicK for the heads-up on the Torchlight one, I was surprised to see Zombie Driver just days earlier too!

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Yesterday saw world-plus-dog in the technology sector glued to Apple’s announcement of their new tablet device, which has now been officially dubbed the iPad. Basically, when you boil it down it’s a super-sized iPod Touch with optional 3G support and a few more apps. Reaction has ranged, as usual, from the ecstatic “I’ve seen the face of God, and his name is Steve”, to “What a useless piece of junk”, stopping at most points in between.

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Watching the ebbs and flows of the game industry is simultaneously inspiring and outright depressing. As is usual for this stage in a console generation, we’re at the ‘consolidation point’ (pun unintentional) - where the tech is pretty well understood, even if it is starting to look a bit dated compared to even a modest PC (how much hassle AA is on this console generation is a case in point), but that at least developers can crank out content in a more efficient fashion.

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So, I’ve been a little quieter than usual since the new year, and that’s because I’ve been in a rather reflective mood as I plan out how I’m going to spend my time in 2010. That’s right - planning! Talk about the final frontier 😉 Basically, as you may have gleaned from my previous post, I’ve been looking to make some significant changes to the way I do things in 2010.

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Zero Punctuation reviewed Torchlight yesterday! Of course he was both inaccurate (you don’t have to keep clicking at all, you can hold the button down) and overly harsh, but still very funny. It’s odd to enjoy watching something you had a hand in (albeit in a background technology way in my case) being ripped to shreds, but when it’s done in such an amusing way somehow it’s ok. I guess this is why Yahtzee hasn’t had his teeth kicked in by disgruntled game developers yet 😀

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I’m far from being a gamerscwh0re who mines every game for every last Achievment, but nevertheless they’re fun to get. I like the ones that encourage you to do something memorable rather than the rather less imaginative “complete game on difficulty X” or “scour the world to find all of item X”. Having picked up a number of games for Christmas I’ve had something of a boost recently, but last night while playing Assassin’s Creed II (which is a vast improvement on the original which had great atmosphere and free running mechanics but was riddled with tedious repetition and hence I never finished it) I completely accidentally landed on precisely 10,000 gamer points at the end of the night:

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MMX

2010 MMX personal

Although many popular films and TV shows don’t seem to use the convention of using roman numerals in their copyright statements anymore, the BBC has, as far as I’m aware, always consistently used them. It used to be kind of fun to see who could figure out the roman numerals first, although my wife was always better at it. For anything made since 2000 (MM) of course, it’s become a bit boring, since you only need to know how to count to 10.

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